About the Match
No one gave Australia a chance to go into the second match of the series 1-0 up. Can they actually go on to win the second test of the series and retain the Border-Gavaskar series with two matches still to play? We have an intriguing test match ahead.
2nd Test Preview
It would actually be somewhat of a relief for Virat Kohli now that his perfect home record and run of unbeaten test matches is over. The team can go back to focusing one test match at a time instead of planning at bigger and more distant goals.
One bad test match does not make this Indian team a bad team or the Australians world beaters. In home conditions, India is still a very tough team to beat. That being side, though, the weaknesses that were brought to the fore in the last test match need to be addressed by India otherwise, they risk losing once again.
Playing with only five frontline batsmen may have worked for them in the past, but is unlikely to do so in the long term. Rotating out Jayant Yadav or Ishant Sharma with Karun Nair would be the way to go in our opinion especially as Nair is a very good player of spin. Don’t rule out Kohli making a left-field choice and going for Kuldeep Yadav as the third spinner as well.
India also needs to catch a lot better than it has in the last test match. Giving the opposition batsmen of the quality of Steve Smith multiple chances is never going to work out well. It is clear that this Australian team is not going to be dropping too many chances and so India must raise their standard to match the visitors.
The batting depends a lot on the fortunes of Vijay, Pujara, and Kohli. Two out of these three need to score big runs otherwise, they will be struggling to keep pace with the Aussies once again. We think backing Pujara and Kohli to come good in this match could be a good option
Ajinkya Rahane has the support of his team right now but we think he is under tremendous pressure. His record at home and in slow conditions, in general, is not the best and he needs to come up with the good to set the record straight.
Ashwin and Jadeja are the World’s top two spin bowlers at the moment and for them to be outbowled by Steve O’Keefe would be embarrassing. While Ashwin still managed to pick up wickets in both innings, Jadeja failed to make the necessary changes needed on a pitch that was spinning like a top.
Back these two to come back hard at the Aussies with Ashwin possibly getting 8 plus wickets in the match
Expected Playing Eleven
KL Rahul, M Vijay, C. Pujara, V. Kohli (Ct), A.Rahane, W. Saha (wk), R. Ashwin, R. Jadeja, Karun Nair, I. Sharma, U. Yadav
The Aussies prepared for this series with every resource they could throw at it, going so far as to play a couple of limited over series without their first choice eleven. Something clearly worked because they have come to India with a clear plan while both bowling and batting.
Steve Smith, the lone centurion from the last match is in astonishing form and has now scored 5 hundreds in the last five matches against India. We think he could be in the middle of cementing his legacy as an all-time great. Back him to get another hundred in this match
After a good first inning where he trusted his defense, David Warner abandoned his approach for all-out attack in the second innings. Back him to get a big one also if he displays some restraint up front.
One of the real finds for Australia from the last match was Matt Renshaw. The tall opener used his reach and soft hands to play the spinners extremely well. The Indian would have come up with some plans against him but we think he will be a thorn in India’s side for the entire duration of the series.
Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, and Matthew Wade found batting very difficult in Pune and while the conditions are going to be a little easier this time around, we don’t think they have very good prospects in this match either.
Handswcomb’s technique of playing from the backfoot could get him in trouble, while Marsh and Wade seem to be playing Ashwin down the wrong line.
A lot of the focus in this match will be on Steve O’Keefe and if he can continue the form he showed in the first game. We think the Indians are going to come at him a lot harder than they did in the first test and it is Nathan Lyon who will be the more threatening of the spin bowlers.
The main bowling threat though will be from Starc and Hazelwood. Bangalore has been kind to fast bowlers in the past and the Aussies have two of the best in their side. Back Mitchell Starc to take the most wickets from the Australian side
The Aussies have announced they will be playing with the same eleven as the last match.
Pitch And Conditions
A better pitch to bat on than the one at Pune will be expected however, we think there will still be plenty of turn on offer. The Chinnaswamy stadium has been fitted with a revolutionary drainage system and a sand base underneath the entire outfield which could change the nature of the pitch.
A lot of spin, reverse swing and some bounce to go with all that is expected. This could again be a test match that sees moderate to low scores and so the first innings (and the toss) will become very important.
We think that India will come back strongly and better prepared to win this test match in a close fought contest.
Back India To Win.
Winner: India, 2.15 @ Bet on India now